NTSPP – 042 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 042 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 042 (Review)

42 by Anax

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Those not familiar with Douglas Adams and his trilogy in five parts, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” may struggle with the significance of the number of this crossword (42) and the frequent references to it in this puzzle.  Although it forms the theme for this crossword, there are plenty of other excellent clues with the hallmarks of Anax’s devious wordplay, smooth surface readings and fun and frolics on the way.

No white mice were harmed in the making of this Crossword or its review!


1a Clean clothes here, untreated pants on line (10)
{LAUNDRETTE} – A place where clothes are cleaned comes from an anagram (pants) of untreated after an abbreviation for line.  In an across clue, the wordplay A on B usually means A follows B in the answer.  In an Anax crossword, pants is often found as an anagram indicator.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7a Say nothing – the doctor’s an idiot (4)
{SHMO}- Another word for an idiot comes from a word sum of an expression meaning say nothing and an abbreviation for a doctor.

9a See 5d

10a Barney enters chorus, being a cheat (8)
{STIFFING} – A slang word for being a cheat comes from a word meaning chorus with a word meaning barney (as in an argument) inside it.

11/17a Old DJ but, in part, deliverer of 42 (4,7)
{DEEP THOUGHT} – The first of our themed clues.  The name of the computer that gave 42 as the output to the question posed of it comes from the name of an old DJ (first name Simon) followed by an abbreviation for part with a word meaning “but” inside it.

13/25a Hot houses badly hurt recipient of 42 (6,4)
{ARTHUR DENT} – The second of our themed clues.  The hero of Douglas Adams trilogy in five parts comes from a word meaning hot (as in passionate) containing (houses) an anagram (badly) of hurt.  Lovely cluing here putting hot houses together in the clue as you have to lift and separate the components to work out the wordplay.

15a We will admit ring is returned by accident (8)
{WHOOPSIE} – Another word for “by accident” (think Frank Spencer in Some Mother’ Do Ave Em) comes from the word “We” inside which (admit) is placed a word for a ring and the word is reverved (returned).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a Some clothing’s colour turned water filthy? (8)
{KNITWEAR} – A descriptive word for some clothing comes from a word for colour reversed (turned) plus an anagram (filth) of water.

18a Symbol of nationality some citizens ignore (6)
{ENSIGN} – A symbol of nationality is hidden (some) inside the words citizens ignore.

20a Travel around Australian island (4)
{GOZO} – An island next to Malta is found from place an word meaning travel around a two letter word used for Australia.

21a A thing turns into something stiff here? (8)
{BONEYARD} – A place where stiffs may be found comes from a word for something that may be stiff (as in the expression as stiff as a *****) inside which is placed a word meaning a thing (as in a desire or fancy for something) which has been reversed.  A scrumptious little &lit clue.

24a Strange agility, ranting as a flatterer (14)
{INGRATIATINGLY} – A word that might describe the conduct of a flatterer is an anagram (ranting) of strange agility.  I wondered about ranting as an anagram indicator but in the sense of getting worked up about something, I think it is OK.

25a See 13a

26a See 5d


2d Old man revolted by his lice (5)
{APHIS} – A word for lice comes from a word meaning an old man reversed (revolved) by the word HIS.

3d Japanese drama accepting sci-fi writer’s help (7)
{NOURISH} – A word meaning help comes from a type of Japanese drama with the surname of the write Leon Uris inside.  I have to say that he is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking of science fiction writers and I had to Google to find his details.  It may be that Anax was thinking of some other author or wordplay.  Hopefully, he will drop in and let us know!

4d Given steel cross, church opens after check (10)
{REINFORCED} – A word meaning given steel (as may be done with concrete described as this) comes from a word meaning check followed by a word meaning cross (as you may do with a shallow stream) inside which (opens) is put an abbreviation for church.

5/9/26d 42 6 17 friendly interviewer hasn’t even cracked (3,6,2,4,3,8,3,10)
{THE ANSWER TO LIFE THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING} – Knowing the theme, just looking at the enumeration told me what the solution to this clue was!  It is the question that resulted in the answer 42.  The solution is an anagram (cracked) of the words “friendly interviewer hasn’t even” plus the answers to 6d and 17d.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d Leisure centre for sizeable area of Kent (4)
{EASE} – A word meaning leisure comes from the central letters of sizeable plus the area of England in which Kent is to be found.

7d Weather’s wrong for wash (5,2)
{STAND UP} – Triple definition time.  A word meaning weather (as being able to resist the effects of a storm) has the same meaning as “wrong” (as in to leave someone high and dry) and to “wash” that excuse won’t wash.

8d Troublesome modern studio in China (9)
{MADDENING} – A word meaning troublesome comes from a type of china containing (in) an abbreviation for modern and a word for a studio.

12d Modest about present/past Internet service, clearly (10)
{COHERENTLY} – A word meaning clearly comes from a word meaning modest put around a word meaning present (as in attending) and the name of an old internet service provider.

14d Get wild with old Frenchman in lift (9)
{RANDOMISE} – A word meaning get wild (as in disorganised) comes from a word meaning lift inside which you need to add a word meaning with (as in a & b) and an abbreviation for old and an abbreviation for monsieur (Frenchman).

17d See 11a

19d Stay firm (7)
{STAUNCH} A double definition.  A word meaning stay (as in stop or stem the flow of something) also describes someone who is firm or reliable (as in a ******* supporter).

22d His appeal is part singing, part songwriting, part body language (5)
{DYLAN} – Another nice clue here.  A notable singer / songwriter is hidden inside (part) “body language”.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

23d Stare at good mirror (4)
{GAPE} – A word meaning stare comes from the abbreviation for good followed by a word meaning mirror (as in copy or imitate).

All that remains for me to do is to pour myself another Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster and to say “So long, and thanks for all the fish”!

6 comments on “NTSPP – 042 (Review)

  1. Hi Prolixic , and tons of thankings for the great review!

    Interesting point about Leon Uris. As soon as I began working on the wordplay I saw the URIS component and knew full well he was a sci-fi writer, but I couldn’t name any of his works. Wiki to the rescue of course… and even then none of its listed titles rang any bells for me. And yet I still knew the name.

    7d is almost right; I split the answer into its 2 component words and defined them separately – ‘weather’ (verb) for the first word and ‘wrong’ (as in ‘What’s wrong?) for the second.

  2. Thanks to Prolixic for the review (especially the clips) and to Anax for the great puzzle.
    I took 7d to be just a charade of stand (weather) and up (wrong, as in “What’s up, doc?”).

  3. Thanks for a great fun puzzle, Anax, and to Prolixic for the review which helped on a couple.
    Favouriteby a mile was 22d.
    I had a sneaking suspicion about the theme which was soon confirmed and as Prolixic, the themed answer at 5 came more from the checking letters than actually crunching the anagram.
    I’m off to doodle woth anagrams for SLARTIBARTFAST

  4. Only just done this today but great xword Anax and thanks for the review Prolixic – we needed a couple of the hints (7d was last to go in – knew the answer but couldn’t see construct).
    As Hitchhiker fans we loved the theme – Pommers was disappointed you couldn’t work in Slartibartfast (which he adopted as his persona on a sailing holiday many moons ago – he has a thing about fjords you know! I was Marvin the paranoid android). Not a vogon in sight!

  5. I don’t know if anyone will see this post on a Friday morning after a NTSPP puzzle but….
    Re 3d.
    This clue really doesn’t work (and Pommette was too polite to point it out)!
    Leon Uris was anything but a science fiction writer. His novels were mostly historical, many about the history of the Jewish people. and a semi- auto biographical about the 6th US marines in WW2.
    Intro to the Wikipedia entry follows . . .
    “Leon Marcus Uris (August 3, 1924 – June 21, 2003) was an American novelist, known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels. His two bestselling books were Exodus, published in 1958, and Trinity, in 1976”.
    If you haven’t read Exodus I suggest you do so, it’s a very moving account of ordinary people’s experiences during the upheavals that lead to the formation of the state of Israel.
    Haven’t read Trinity but the Wiki plot synopsis looks interesting.

    1. Sorry, that was from me but Pommette’s been on my computer and I forgot to change the name back to me!
      Anyway, sorry to be picky but an otherwise well crafted clue was spoiled by a factual error IMHO.
      Enjoyed the challenge of the puzzle though it was about at the limit of my skills!

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